This image illustrates the phenomenon that has enabled astronomers to indirectly detect dozens of planets, even if the planets themselves are too small to be seen directly. As a planet passes in front of its star, the star's light dips just a little - but it can be measured, and the presence of a planet thus inferred.

This image illustrates the phenomenon that has enabled astronomers to indirectly detect dozens of planets, even if the planets themselves are too small to be seen directly. As a planet passes in front of its star, the star's light dips just a little - but it can be measured, and the presence of a planet thus inferred.
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